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To: Principal Secretary, Forest, Chhattisgarh
Save young Appu! Take action to rescue him so he can be released into the wild.
As you know few months ago a sub adult elephant (Appu) separated from his herd and traveled across 6 forest divisions (Korba, Katghora, Bilaspur, Kabeerdham , Khairagarh and Rajnandgaon) covering a distance of more than 300 km through continuous forest patches without causing harm to any human being or agriculture but unfortunately when he reached Rajnandgaon district, he tragically killed an old woman on the 12th of July 2013. Following the incident Appu has been captured and has been kept in captivity in Chirchari Forest depot in Rajnandgaon District since the 13th of July 2013.
You are already aware that in regions where there are no elephants present any such incident would create more panic among people than regions where there is regular human-elephant conflict. Also in regions like Nilgiris, Mudumalai where this happens more often (elephants strays away from their herd) they have authorities trained to act accordingly and release them into the wild.
There have been cases in Krishnagiri where elephants have previously strayed away from their herd and officials have successfully sedated the elephant and released them into the wild.
We believe that this case that took place in Rajnandgaon district is similar in nature i.e. capturing an elephant which does not have any history of conflict and when there is no effort taken in solving widespread human-elephant conflict across Chhattisgarh results in massive damages to people, property and the animal itself, is not a good strategy and leads to wasting public resource.
We would like to bring your kind attention towards the recent protests in Dharamjaigarh, where people have been demanding a safe passage for elephants to safeguard their lives and livelihood.
We kindly urge you to relocate Appu the young elephant to its original place and invest our money and efforts where it matters.
Why is this important?
I have been documenting the condition of young Appu in July, August and September. During this period I observed that Appu is being kept under bad living conditions and the capacity of the staff who are involved in training him is also questionable. Appu is also under severe stress when I last visited and has been losing weight drastically.
Human v/s elephant conflicts have increased lately due to rapid increase of population of humans and increased number of industries in the forest region. A sustainable solution is urgently required for human-elephant conflict and is crucial in enhancing the living conditions of the people of the forest belts as well as sustaining wildlife.